Who may file a complaint?
Against whom may a complaint be filed?
Which complaints may be investigated?
Which complaints will not be investigated?
How to file a complaint?
Any person, including a child and a person who is not a citizen of Israel, may file a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman, free of charge. The complainant must specify his or her name and address, since the Office of the Ombudsman does not handle anonymous complaints.
A complaint may also be filed on behalf of another person, provided the Ombudsman is satisfied that that person has consented to this.
A Member of Knesset may also file a complaint concerning an action that has harmed another person.
The Office of the Ombudsman is authorized to investigate complaints against government ministries, local authorities and other municipal bodies such as city unions, water and sewage corporations, state-owned factories and institutions, government companies and other public bodies against which, according to law, a complaint may be filed, as well as against employees and office-holders of these bodies.
Where a complaint concerns the activities of a body against which the Office of the Ombudsman is not authorized to investigate complaints, the Office notifies the complainant accordingly and refers him, where possible, to a body which might be able to assist him.
As a rule, the Office of the Ombudsman will investigate a complaint arising from an act – including an omission or delay in taking action – which has directly harmed the complainant or directly prevented him from receiving a benefit, and was carried out unlawfully, or without lawful authority, or contrary to good governance, or entailed excessive inflexibility or flagrant injustice.
The following complaints will not be investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman:
A complaint against the President of the State of Israel;
A complaint against the Knesset, a committee of the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) or a Member of the Knesset, regarding an act performed in the discharge of his duties as a Member of the Knesset;
A complaint against the Government, a committee of ministers or a minister, regarding his activity as a member of the Government, except his activity as head of a ministry or sphere of activity;
A complaint against the Governor of the Bank of Israel, except relating to his activity as head of the bank;
A complaint against a judicial or quasi-judicial act;
A complaint relating to a matter pending in a court or tribunal, or where a court or tribunal has made a substantive decision in the matter;
A complaint filed by a soldier in regular service in the IDF, regarding the terms and conditions of his service or discipline;
A complaint filed by a policeman regarding the terms and conditions of his service and discipline;
A complaint filed by a state employee or by an employee of an audited body, regarding his service as an employee, unless the complaint concerns an action which is in violation of relevant employment legislation, the Civil Service Regulations, collective agreements or general arrangements. This does not include the complaint of an employee about victimization following his exposing acts of corruption in his workplace (whistleblower), nor the complaint of an internal auditor of an audited body about victimization by his superior in reaction to his activities as internal auditor;
A complaint relating to a matter in which a decision has been reached against which a contestation, objection or appeal can, or could have been, filed by law, or a complaint which was filed more than a year after the date of the act to which it relates or came to the complaint's attention – unless a special reason exists for justifying the investigation;
Copies of complaints to other bodies.
A complaint may be filed in the following ways:
A complaint sent by mail or fax may be handwritten and does not have to be in Hebrew; where necessary, complaints written in foreign languages are sent for translation.
The complainant must specify his identity number and exact address for correspondence (even if the complaint is being filed via email), as well as his telephone numbers.
It is important to attach to the complaint copies of all relevant documents, such as correspondence with the audited body, decisions reached in the matter, etc.
Useful tips for filing a complaint:
The complaint should preferably be printed but if handwritten, the writing must be legible.
In order to expedite the investigation, it is important to include the complainant's identity (or passport) number, his telephone and cell-phone numbers and full address (even where the complaint is being sent by email).
Where possible, it is recommended to provide exact dates of events as well as copies of relevant documents, such as correspondence with the audited body and court decisions.
Original documents should be kept by the complainant for future use.
Where the matter of the complaint is being investigated within the audited body, it is important to state the body's reference number.
It is important to specify the district, branch or bureau of the body complained about.
Where the complaint is being filed on behalf of another person, that person must provide signed affirmation of his consent to the Ombudsman's investigation of the complaint.